DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
This story is a sequel to the stories “Lord Conqueror of the Realm,” "Queen of the Realm," and "Princess of the Realm." I strongly recommend you read them first because in this story there are references to events that took place in them. Here is where you can find them:
The third story of the Realm series "Princess of the Realm" can now be found on an Ebook format as well – for free. (epub, MOBI, PDF) on the Xena Library web site. It is listed under the LORD CONQUEROR OF THE REALM SERIES, so scroll down to the L's.
SPECIAL THANKS : My humble most ardent gratitude to the excellent, most brilliant Beta reader Nancyjean , whom I can't thank enough.
Comments, thoughts, questions & feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post – I mean it!
Out of respect, the Conqueror Athena insisted that her Sire would sit at the banquet in the Great Hall on the Throne and Queen Sieglinde followed suit and happily offered the Queen's Throne to her Mother-in-law.
It would be the last time that the First Conqueror and the First Queen would ever be seen in the Great Hall. It was an end of an era in the truest sense of the word.
Servants entered the Great Hall with silver basins and gilded ewers filled to the brim with perfumed rose water, which they carried round to the company, who washed their hands before they sat down to eat. After them came in servants with large platters that had to be carried by four servants in each corner, atop which rested various fish, an array of meats and the finest vegetables. Each of the guests received a freshly baked loaf of bread. The sights of the steaming roasted beef, mutton and pork, along with geese, capons, fowls and ducks garnishing the feast tables were staggering. There were even refined platters that were graced by delicious morsels of the whale. It would later be said that the amount of food served at the coronation banquet could have sustained the entire city of Rome for seven days.
As the music was playing, guests one after the other came to the Royals table and presented the new Conqueror and Queen with congratulations and gifts.
Princess Alexia stared at the crown on her Sire's head and could not tear her eyes from it. She was clever enough to recognize the dazzling object for what it really was – an emblem of power, and it tempted and seduced her as much as its shine did.
"Your Majesty," she addressed her Sire as she had been instructed before the coronation, "May I observe your crown more closely," she asked with curiosity.
"You may, your Grace," her Sire permitted her.
And so observed by her brother the Prince, the Heir rose to stand on her seat so to get a closer view. She touched the cold gold and the scintillating rubies and diamonds and emitted cries of marvel at its sophisticated beauty and smart design.
"It is so shiny," she muttered, absentmindedly.
"Mind your firstborn," the First Conqueror teased her eldest but fixated her eyes on her youngest. "This one covets your crown, already."
But like her Sire, Athena was preoccupied with Princess Terreis, who remained seated and did not approach the dais, much to her Sire's discontentment.
She saw the frown on her Sire's features and she was displeased, to put it mildly, seeing her Sire agonizing over it.
"Did you know, Majesty that she has ordered the Amazons to cease paying taxes to the Realm?"
"Has she?!" the First Conqueror sounded surprised but not as surprised as could be expected.
"Indeed," Athena gravely nodded her head.
"Well," the First Conqueror emitted with a sigh. She was worried at the prospect of her two beloved children fighting one against the other, especially since the real target of Terreis' anger was not Athena but her. "She is your problem to deal with, now. Your Mother and I are leaving to the Nordic Lands at first light tomorrow."
When Athena caught her sister's gaze she beckoned her to approach, leaving Terreis with no other venue but to obey.
Reluctantly, Terreis climbed up the wide stairs to the Royals' table.
"Majesties," she bowed before them with an indifferent expression about her face.
"I wish to have a word with you in private, your Grace," Athena informed her and stood up. She guided her young sister to a side chamber behind and to the left of the dais and closed the door behind them.
"What is this I hear about the Amazons refusing to pay their duty taxes to the Realm?" Athena confronted her younger sister directly, foregoing any pleasantries.
"I have decided to severe all ties with the Realm. We no longer wish to suffer the Realm's occupation over our Lands and have no desire to be under your rule."
Athena could not believe her ears. "Are you out of your senses, little sister?!" She took a deep breath to calm herself. "I cannot allow this to happen."
"Of course you can. You rule now."
Athena took one step towards Terreis. "If I will agree to this then what would stop the Province of Egypt , or Persia or any other province to be emancipated?"
"It is no concern of mine," Terreis said and folded her arms over her breasts.
"This is treason, you do realize…" Athena issued her first warning. The word 'treason' was not used casually or lightly in the Realm for it carried with it a hefty penalty—death.
Terreis scoffed, "And what will you do? Execute me!? You are my Sister…" she replied with an excessive and misguided confidence.
"I am not your Sister. I am you Lord and Master and you will do as I command!" Athena was livid from Terreis' temerity, too livid to even notice that she sounded exactly like her Sire at that moment. Now looming over her, she continued to say: "The Amazons will pay their taxes or expect my legions at your boarders."
"We shall defend ourselves against your tyranny," Terreis maintained defiantly.
Athena burst into disparaging laughter. "You are but a little child…" she said. "Your warriors against the legions at my command… It will be like a Titan stomping on ants. Pity that the Amazons have you for their leader. Perhaps I should intervene and reject you as a governor, for clearly you are doing them a gross disservice."
After a few silent moments between them, Athena asked with a certain amount of mockery in her voice, "All this… just because you are too delicate to take a woman roughly?"
Terreis found Athena's last words to her insulting although she could not understand why for she prided herself on having better morals and values than her Sire and her Sister.
"Rough play, Athena, is some distance from the savagery of battle-lust!" Terreis argued vehemently and clenched her fist.
Athena's eyes narrowed into thin slits.
It was during that respite in their fierce affray that Terreis realized that Athena seemed to be well informed. "So I see that Sire has told you all about it," she said with an even tone of voice.
"Silly girl, Sire would never discuss such matters with me. It was Mother who told me."
Of course, Terreis thought, her Sire would not betray her secrets and her Mother had always favored Athena.
"Visiting brothels and brutalizing miserable whores… Ours is certainly an outstanding family… I blame Sire for this… Even for your affliction and subsequent deeds."
How dare she? Athena thought. How dare her little sister scrutinize her and their Sire? Who was she to pass judgment on them? "Then you know nothing about us!" Athena was losing her patience fast.
"All I know is… That those who are capable of such atrocities cannot hold anything sacred in their hearts."
"You are wrong, little sister," Athena said. Her instincts told her to defend their Sire's honor before her own. "Our Sire holds at least one thing sacred in her heart – The extraordinary love she bears our Mother."
"Well, Sire told me that she hasn't frequented a brothel since Mother, so… It is impossible to love someone so much and commit these unspeakable acts on them."
"Then you understand nothing about their bond, nothing at all. And I will have you know that I love my wife with every fiber of my heart and soul."
Terreis did not reply. Her eyes became red and her chin quivered. She searched her mind for a retort and all she could come up with were these horrible words: "Then I feel sorry for Sieglinde, as well."
Understanding that her young sister was distraught, Athena elected to forgo the punishment her sister so richly deserved and softly said to her, "I understand that battle-lust caught you unprepared and this is the real reason for your lashing out at our Sire."
"Do not patronize me and do not belittle my stance and convictions in this matter."
"I am surprised you had never heard of battle-lust before you experienced it yourself. It should not have come as a complete shock to you."
"I have never heard of it before," Terreis affirmed and inwardly wondered how a seemingly private matter was a well-known one, one that she ought to have heard about already. Should she have heard the bards singing about it? Were there heralds' announcements that she had missed over the years?
"Next you'll tell me that you do not know how Mother and Sire met…"
"I know that Mother was a servant of sorts to Sire." Terreis recalled overhearing two maids talking about it a few short years before.
"Of sorts?! Athena scoffed.
"Very well," Terreis admitted, "I've heard she was some kind of slave owned by Sire."
"Her body slave, sister," Athena stated, putting an emphasis on the word 'body', and waited to see astonishment spread over her sister's face and when it failed to appear, she asked, "You do know what a body slave is, do you not?!"
Terreis hesitated for a few moments. "She washed Sire's feet?" was her poor attempt at guessing.
"No…" Athena replied and rubbed the back of her neck. "And she did not give holistic massages to our Sire, either," she stressed with a smirk but then her face turned staid once more. "Sire sated her carnal desires with her. That was Mother's entire purpose in our Sire's household – to satisfy Sire's lust and nothing else. She even used to wear a collar, which she now wears still around her thigh."
Terreis was beside herself with equal amounts of shock and disgust. She observed Athena's features for any sign that she was jesting, but Athena was serious. It was too much to bear. What sort of person keeps a poor, defenseless woman solely for the purpose of defiling her body in such a degrading manner? And putting a collar around her neck as if she was a dog… It was sickening. "Then I think of Sire even less, now."
At that moment Queen Sieglinde opened the door to the chamber.
"Pray pardon my intrusion, Min Herre, but our guests our starting to wonder where you are," she said with a warm smile on her face and eyes shimmering brighter than the crown on her head.
Athena's features lit up as soon as they rested on her wife.
"What you meant to say, Min Damme was… Mother has sent you here to check up on us," Athena teased her and seated her lengthy form in an armchair.
"How relieved I am, Min Herre, to learn that you are more than a handsome face," Queen Sieglinde retaliated with a little taunt of her own.
Athena removed the heavy crown off her head and relished the instant relief. "Honor your pledge and put all that queenly wisdom and guidance you spoke of to use. I am in dire need of it," she said in high spirit and offered her wife the vacant seat next to hers.
Queen Sieglinde was only too happy to oblige and how could she refuse such an adorable plea for help from the one who loved her most in the entire world.
Terreis was slightly appeased and also sat down.
"Are we discussing battle-lust?" Queen Sieglinde asked knowingly and took her crown off as well, shaking her head from side to side at the enjoyable loss of the burden.
"Is there anyone in the Realm who isn't aware of my plight?" Terreis asked with embarrassment and blushed a fierce red.
"I believe there are a few second story chambermaids that aren't," Athena replied and made her Queen laugh. "And back to the issue at hand – " Athena turned her attention back to her younger sister. "On the contrary, you should think of our Sire better now. Can you imagine it - Against the will of the Realm's nobility– the Great Lord Conqueror, who could have chosen any woman walking the earth to wed and make her Queen, she chose her body slave, because the great love she bore in her heart for her would not permit her to do otherwise."
"But keeping a body slave in the first instance…" Terreis tried to argue.
"You were born into a world free of slavery, sister. When our parents met… it was different times back then. Slavery was legal, lucrative and socially expected. Mother's family sold her into slavery, you see, to pay off a debt to a healer. It was on Mother's urgings that our Sire abolished slavery… and do not think for a moment that the Noblemen did not give her grief over it." She then paused in order to consider her next words to her sister, who now seemed better inclined to truly listen.
"I was not much older than you are now when I first discovered our parents' past… Our dear cousin Germanicus was kind enough to let it slip his tongue that Mother had been Sire's body slave. Back in those days they kept their love a secret. I grew up in a very different home than you did and you have no idea how lucky you are in that regard . Back then Sire believed that if her great love for Mother would be known then her enemies would think her weak and it would be the end of her reign, the end of her Realm and everything she had worked so hard to achieve. I still remember her words to me. 'Rulers cannot love' Sire said. 'Love is fresh blood on the battlefield which attracts wolves'."
Athena took another respite and went in her mind far back to her childhood. Queen Sieglinde listened, riveted, for her Lord had never had occasion to tell her that tale.
"You cannot even imagine it now, sister… but trust me when I tell you - it was a different existence back then. For me—It was cold, joyless and quiet as a tomb. A part of me was glad I was sent to the Military Academy in Rome and far away from them even though I loved them dearly, especially Mother, to whom I felt closer. I hardly ever heard Sire speak to her and when she did it always sounded harsh and commanding. Throughout my childhood I have never heard Sire speak softly to Mother, can you imagine it?!"
Terreis mindlessly shook her head.
"And love!?" Athena scoffed. "I had never even heard that word pass Sire's lips until the day I discovered the truth about them. I had never seen Sire exhibit any form of affection towards her. I had never witnessed Sire extend her—not even the tiniest gesture of simple kindness."
"Not even a caress?" Terreis asked.
"Not even a caress," Athena answered.
"What did you do after you discovered the truth?"
"Oh," Athena emitted and felt a touch of shame, "I thought I knew everything there was to know. I thought I was wiser than I actually was. I went straight up to their chambers and confronted Mother."
"What did you say to her?" Terreis asked, wondering if her older Sister surpassed her in displaying insolence.
"Horrible things…" Athena muttered. "I told her that she grovels before Sire and that despite her high station she was still Sire's slave and that Sire owned her then as she had owned her when she had bought and paid for her. I accused her of lacking dignity and self-respect."
"By the Gods," Terreis murmured.
"When I said those things to her I failed to notice that Sire was standing close by listening to all that I was saying . " Athena absentmindedly rubbed her jaw where her Sire had struck her as though her flesh could still recall the pain. "Let me tell you, I have said some horrible things to Sire too over the years. I once even called her… 'A fantastical paragon of monstrosity' I believe were the words I've used—But despite the many slights against her, Sire had never raised her hand to me. The only time she has ever struck me was that morning when I disrespected Mother."
Terreis' eyebrows rose in amazement. She could believe neither Athena's reckless boldness and audacity nor her Sire's restraint. "Amazing," she pondered. "The only time Mother has ever hit me was when I disrespected Sire."
"I am not surprised," Athena said thoughtfully. "It is in keeping with who they are and what they mean to one another. I told you, sister—you do not grasp the profound bond that exists between them. If you need further proof – look no further than Sire's recent decision to pass her Empire to me. Hold no illusions, sister, Sire did not do it for my sake but for Mother's sake. It was always Mother's desire to lead a simple life with Sire and travel the world with her. She never really cared for all this…" Athena said and geastured with her arms around meaning the palace and the richess. "Her aspirations have always begun and ended with Sire."
Terreis took a few moments to contemplate Athena's words.
"And what about battle-lust?" she eventually asked.
But before Athena could answer, her wife, the Queen intervened, "May I answer her, Min Herre?"
"That is what you are here for, Min Damme," Athena replied with a half smile on her lips.
Queen Sieglinde closed her eyes as if she was conjuring up an old memory from the far recesses of her mind. "When my Lord returns to me from war," she said, "My Lord harbors a great and terrible hunger, and when I'm in the presence of my Lord I feel the same hunger in me."
Both Terreis and Athena were dumbstruck. Their jaws slackened and Terreis even had to rub her ears to make sure she was hearing correctly. To hear the virtuous Sister-in-law speak of such intimate matters with such openness was astounding.
"I cannot explain it," Queen Sieglinde continued with a hint of a smile on her lips when she saw astonishment clear across her Lord's features. "It is like no other sensation I can think of and it is excruciating and enlivening. You cannot imagine how it feels to be touched by such demanding power and consuming desire. The hunger never leaves me until my Lord releases me from it."
When Sieglinde finished, Athena vigorously chafed the back of her neck, almost embarrassed at her wife's outpouring confession, and said to her, "Zeus, wife… You seem to be in an awfully talkative mood today… Would you care to tell my little sister what positions we like best in bed, perhaps?!"
Sieglinde's laughter rang like heavenly bells and was highly contagious. When all three stopped laughing, Sieglinde moved her gaze from her Lord to her sister-in-law and said: "These were not my words. These were your Mother's words."
"My Mother's?!" Athena exclaimed in disbelief. "My Mother, Queen Gabrielle has said these words to you?!"
"The very one," Sieglinde replied and nodded her head. "Now calm yourself down and don't look so shocked, Min Herre." She then turned her gaze to Terreis. "Do you remember—when you were a little child – A rift between your parents?"
"I do recall, indeed. Only I cannot guess what it was about."
"Well, your Sire wanted Min Herre to marry me, only my good Herre here," she said and tapped Athena's thigh, "wanted to marry another woman."
"Who did you want to marry?" Terreis asked Athena, nearly overwhelmed by all the new discoveries of the day.
"Never mind that," Athena was quick to answer as her embarrassment grew stronger.
"Cynna," Sieglinde was happy to answer instead, much to her Lord's discomfort.
"Cynna? The Shamaness' apprentice? The Amazon?" Terreis inquired, all the while giggling.
Sieglinde nodded her assent.
"Not too bright, are you, Athena?!" Terreis teased her Sister. "Cynna is not half the woman your wife is." Only then did she understand why Cynna had received such a disgraceful welcome in the Great Hall after Alexia and Lyceus had been born. "I am beginning to think that Sire might have made a mistake handing over her Empire to you."
"Well," Athena became thoroughly annoyed with her sister's larks, "I think that's enough laughing at my expense… It was agonizing enough admitting to Sire that she was right and I was wrong."
"Min Herre eventually came to see the light, Terreis," Sieglinde put her Lord out of her misery. "Believing that marrying against her will, Min Herre would not know happiness in her marital bed," Sieglinde continued her story, "Your Mother thought neither should there be any in hers and so she stopped sharing your Sire's bed, telling her either she annuled my marriage to Min Here or she would keep denying her."
"Is that true?" Terreis felt compelled to ask Athena as if Sieglinde's words were too fantastical to believe.
"Painfully so," Athena confirmed her wife's account.
"Did our Sire take Mother by force, then?" Terreis asked, dreading the answer.
"Of course not!" Athena cried out loud, "Haven't you been listening? Our Sire would sooner fall on her own sword than violate our Mother."
"In any event," Sieglinde continued, "When your Sire defeated the rabbles, she came home to your Mother riddled with battle-lust. But, being angry with her for having denied her for so long, your Sire would not unleash the darkness on her and it made your Mother mad with sorrow – And when I say 'mad' I mean exactly that. Your Mother was… out of sorts to the point of making all those around her deeply concerned for her well-being. It was then that your Mother said these words and I remembered them exactly because when first I heard them I remember thinking these were some of the most stimulating and eviscerating words I have ever heard in my life. I remembered wanting to feel this way as well and I realized I did."
"I am surprised you never told me before," Athena said to her wife, lovingly.
Sieglinde only smiled mysteriously, letting her Lord know there were still secrets buried in her waiting to be discovered.
"I guess my Sire did not take her dark needs elsewhere…" Terreis muttered pensively.
"That is correct. In all their years together, your Sire has never so much as looked at another woman," Sieglinde replied. "Your Sire remained constant to your Mother and she never betrayed her with either body or heart. I cannot tell you how rare it is. Powerful people are rarely ever so loyal. My father knew women other than my mother."
Terreis contemplated everything she had learned that day and was beginning to see her Sire in a different light.
"May I ask," Terreis delicately addressed Sieglinde, "How do you receive battle-lust?"
Sieglinde considered her following words to Terreis carefully, for she did not wish to divulge too much of her intimacies with her Lord. "Have you seen how your Sire tames the lions in the menagerie?"
"I have," Terreis replied.
"I tame mine in the same way," Sieglinde said and made her Lord fall deeper in love with her for her brilliant analogy. They exchanged loving looks between them.
Sieglinde then turned to look back at Terreis. "You must understand, sister," she spoke softly and sincerely, "There are women who do not care at all for the darkness and of course you must respect their inclination. However, there are women such as me who enjoy very much taming the darkness. And then there are women such as your mother whose greatest desire is to experience the darkness in all its glory and crave to be taken and consumed by it, body and soul. Know that she does not suffer it nor does she feel humiliated by it. Your Sire could never do anything that would hurt let alone humiliate your Mother. You must respect hers and your Sire's inclination, as well."
Athena nodded her head at her wife's wise words.
"It is a matter of personal tastes and desires and therefore not a matter of morals," Athena explained.
"I understand," Terreis said after some time had passed between them in silence. "Nevertheless, I still maintain that using women in brothels is morally reprehensible."
"It is better than having the beast run loose on an unwilling participant. It is the lesser of two evils," Athena said and rose to her feet. "At least the professionals know what to expect."
"Perhaps you should inquire beforehand if they truly crave the darkness and not simply cater to your needs for the Dinars you pay them," Sieglinde suggested and stood up as well.
"One day you will meet a woman who will love you with all that she is and trust you with her life and will be suited perfectly for you in that regard as well. I promise you that when you share the darkness with someone you love, respect, trust and desire – You would look upon the darkness as a blessing for it might bring you both to heights and pleasures such as you've never known," Athena said and put her crown back on her head.
Terreis smiled and in her heart she hoped for that day to come as soon as possible.
"How can you keep the beast at bay for so long till you reach Sieglinde? I barely last a few candle marks at best…"
"Sire and I are used to controlling our dark side. You do not," Athena explained. "If you wish, I shall teach you methods to contain it until it is safe to unleash it, but it would have to wait until tomorrow for we need to return back to the Great Hall before Sire sends the Imperial Guard to fetch us… I just hope you won't be in mortal danger between now and tomorrow," she teased.
"Well… I have to face Sire," Terreis muttered, "And after the things I've said… I might be in mortal danger."
"I awe Sire an apology," Terreis' face turned somber.
"Then you must be quick about it and do it today for they leave for the Imperial Seaport to board a ship that will carry them to the Nordic Lands at first light tomorrow," Athena replied while adjusting the crown over her head.
"Do you think Sire will forgive me?" Terreis asked and her voice trembled.
"Of course Sire will forgive you," Athena stated confidently and waved her hand in a dismissive manner. "Sire has always loved you better than you deserve, you little brat." Athena chuckled and pinched her sister's cheek. "I used to think she loved you more than she ever did me."
"Yes. Now can I get a hug or are you too grown up, the Amazon queen and such, to hug your big Sister?"
Terreis giggled and fell into Athena's outstretched arms for a tight embrace. She then extended her arm to Sieglinde, welcoming her to join the embrace, and all three women clung dearly to each other for quite some time.
When they released each other, Terreis asked Athena, "What made Sire change her mind and let the world know about her love for Mother?"
"It is a long story and I am sure you would like it. It has Amazons in it," Athena replied with a half smile smeared over her lips as she took her wife's hand in hers. "Why won't you stay with us for a few days before you return back to the Amazon Lands?"
"I will gladly stay. Thank you, your Majesty," Terreis said and feigned a curtsy, needling her sibling for her new station. "Oh, and I have been meaning to tell you that the crown suits you perfectly."
"I does, does it not?!" said Sieglinde and placed her own crown back on her head.
"I just hope that after you leave back to the Amazon Lands… With all the scantly clad sisters of yours you would find the time and will to come visit your blood Sister and your Sister-in-law often."
"I promise I will, Athena," Terreis said with a smile, "And I wish to thank you both, Majesties."
"All in a day's work of the second Lord Conqueror and the second Queen." Athena tapped her sister's shoulder fondly with a mischievous spark in her eyes as all three exited the chamber and returned back to the Great Hall.
Music began to play at the banquet when the new Queen and Conqueror returned back to sit at the high table atop the dais, purposely leaving the seat to left of the First Conqueror free for Terreis to occupy.
"May I sit beside you, Majesty?" Terreis asked her Sire and inwardly dreaded rejection.
After a few short moments had passed, the Conqueror pulled out the empty seat next to her. "Of course you may, little princess."
Whether it was the unexpected warm and welcoming tone of voice her Sire used or her special endearment for her that caused tears to mist her sight, Terreis was not sure. She held back her tears but her throat was clogged by a healthy weeping.
"How have you been, child?" the Conqueror asked her.
"I am well, thank you, my Sire," Terreis replied.
The Conqueror kept inquiring after Terreis' training and experiences at the Amazon Lands and did not say a word about the rift between them.
However, Terreis knew in her heart that the matter between them was yet to be resolved and so after the banquet had ended and her Sire and Mother retired to their chambers, Terreis went upstairs and knocked on their chamber door.
"Come in, Terreis," the Conqueror invited her into the Imperial bedchamber.
The sight of several large wooden chests greeted Terreis as she walked into her parents' bedchamber. Now that she stood in their chambers, she was not sure what she wanted to say. She saw her Mother in her nightgown already in bed and her Sire sitting at her desk, going over a few scrolls.
"Have you come to say goodbye, little princess?" the Conqueror asked.
And when Terreis heard her Sire use her special moniker for her, it made her heart twitch in pain. "I came here to beg your forgiveness, Sire… and Mother's forgiveness," Terreis finally said.
"We forgive you, child," the Conqueror said. "I wish there was another way for me to edify you in this matter, alas as fiercely as I have been thinking about it since you left… I could not find a better, more suitable way other than the one I have chosen."
"I realize it now. You did what you thought best out of love for me and I was too foolish to understand it. Athena and Sieglinde have explained everything to me, already."
"I've suspected as much."
"Pray answer me this, my Sire… If I were better inclined towards the other way… Would you have permitted another to do to me what we do to others when battle-lust is upon us?" Terreis phrased her question in a manner which she thought would be the most respectable towards her Mother.
It was a fair question, the Conqueror thought, one that she had not before contemplated. She took a few moments to consider it before rendering her reply.
"In all honestly, I must admit I would not because of your very young age. When Mother and I met," the Conqueror felt behooved to explain, "she was a few years older than you are now."
The Conqueror rose to her feet and moved from behind the desk. She looked at her wife, wordlessly urging her to go on where she'd left off.
"That is true," the Queen replied, "and by then I already knew my heart and desires well enough."
"Because of your very young age I cannot help but feel… very protective of you, little princess," the Conqueror explained as she sat on the bed next to her wife. "But had you been older and possessed these desires and if I thought your bedmate of choice was trustworthy then I would not have intervened and respected your will."
Terreis was satisfied with the answer she was given and suddenly felt great longings towards her Sire and Mother. She rushed to their bed and climbed on top of it. Both her Sire and her Mother embraced her tightly for several long moments.
"I love you," she said to them as the tears she had been fighting off earlier finally sprung from her eyes.
"We love you, too, little princess," her Sire warmly said and stroked her head.
"Are you really planning on leaving tomorrow?" she asked them and sniveled.
"We are," her Mother answered. "Our work here is done," she continued and smiled a brilliant smile as she beheld her Lord.
"I would be sad to part from you," Terreis answered.
"Are you planning to go back to the Amazon Lands tomorrow?" her Sire asked.
"No, my Sire. I plan on staying a little longer here in the palace. Athena owes me a few more stories," she said and began to laugh.
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